Best forex trading apps

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Updated on
July 27, 2023

In a nutshell

The best forex trading apps are Plus500, eToro and IG. They’re so good, they’re just the same as trading on your desktop, if not better! They’re all easy to use, are really popular, have low fees and a great range of currency pairs.

Nutty

Trading foreign exchange (forex) can be very profitable if you’re successful. There’s lots of money to be made and is super popular across the world.

Using the right trading app can make a big difference to your bottom line (profit). Here’s the best forex trading apps to set yourself up for success:

Best forex trading apps

New to forex trading?

We recommend starting with eToro – it’s super easy to use and get started.
Visit eToro¹Visit eToro¹

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

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Best overall

Plus500

Plus500 is one of the top trading platforms in the world. It’s well established, secure, and super popular – there's over 24 million users across the world.

The platform is easy to use, packed with trading tools, and some great, unique features such as +Insights – where you get information (insights) based on other traders on the platform, such as what investments are trending, most profitable, most bought and sold etc – it's all very cool, and super useful.

It’s low cost too (commission-free), and the customer service is excellent. It's the go-to trading platform for most traders.

Additional information

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Platform experience: awesome
Device options: website, tablet and phone app
Support: 24/7
Stocks & Shares ISA: no
Pension (SIPP): no
Range of investments: large
Stocks: yes
ETFs: yes
Fractional shares: no
Crypto: yes (not UK)
CFDs: yes
Forex: yes (CFDs)
Account fee: free
Cost per trade: free
Spread fees: yes (low)
Currency conversion fee: 0.70%

Rating:

Plus500 rated 5 stars
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Plus500UK Ltd authorised & regulated by the FCA (#509909). Note: 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Spread betting

IG

IG is a serious trading platform, and very well established. They literally invented spread betting.

If you’re looking for one of the best platforms in the UK to trade you’ve found it. The investment options are huge and the costs are reasonable. Customer service is great too.

You can get started with a demo account, and there's lots of advanced features for experienced traders – including margin trading.

Additional information

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Platform experience: great
Device options: website & phone app
Support: 24/7
Stocks & Shares ISA: yes
Pension (SIPP): no
Range of investments: large
Stocks: yes
‍ETFs: yes
Fractional shares: no
Crypto: no
CFDs: yes
Forex: yes
Account fee: free
Cost per trade: free
Spread fees:
yes (low)
Currency conversion fee: 0.50%

Rating:

IG rated 5 stars
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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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Additional information

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Rating

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Best forex trading app for beginners

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Best overall

eToro

eToro is great. It's a trading platform with great social trading features that makes trading fun. It's crazy popular, with a huge community you can get involved in, learn from and copy their trades!

It’s also got the largest range of assets to trade, including stocks, ETFs, crypto, CFDs, currencies and commodities (such as gold).

Highly recommended for beginners to get started, and there's great features for more experienced traders too (such as margin trading).

Additional information

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Platform experience: great
Device options:
website & phone app
Support:
24/7
Stocks & Shares ISA:
no
Pension (SIPP):
no
Range of investments:
huge
Stocks:
yes
ETFs: yes
Fractional shares:
yes
Crypto:
yes
CFDs:
yes
Forex: yes
Spread fees: yes (low)
Currency conversion fee:
0.50% on non-USD deposits

Rating

eToro rated 5 stars
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eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

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Additional information

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Rating

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Additional information

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Our criteria for the best forex trading apps

When it comes to the forex market, there’s quite a few trading apps and forex platforms out there, all suited to different types of forex traders. We’ve put together a list of criteria to determine the best apps for all traders from beginners to advanced traders, and here it is:

  • Range of currency pairs (investment options)
  • Trading app experience
  • Fees
  • Customer reviews
Best forex trading apps

The forex apps we’ve listed above are all reputable, trustworthy, and are some of the biggest forex brokers in the world – not to mention have awesome mobile apps and trading tools. 

They’re forex brokers we also recommend to our friends and family (and readers), and use ourselves here at Nuts About Money. 

You can’t go wrong with whichever you choose, although if you’re fairly new to trading, start with eToro¹ – we’ll cover why just below.

What’s the best forex trading app for beginners?

If you’re just starting out on your forex trading journey, good luck! It can be a wild ride, and it’s not for everyone, there’s lots of ups-and-downs along the way, but for those successful, there’s lots of money to be made.

There’s a lot to learn, and initially, forex trading apps can be quite intimidating. For that reason, we recommend starting with eToro¹ – they make it super easy to get started trading, with a great experience, and they’ll guide you through everything. You can even start with a free demo account if you like.

Plus, it’s low cost, and you can copy the more advanced traders to learn winning trading strategies. There’s lots of educational resources too. 

What is forex trading?

Forex (foreign exchange) is trading one currency for another, just like you would if you were to go on holiday in a foreign country.

Foreign exchange (forex or FX)

It sounds simple, but can get very complicated. It’s all based on the foreign exchange rate of one currency vs another currency, and together they are called a currency pair (more on those later).

The exchange rate is constantly changing, it’s a 24/7 market (Monday-Friday), and reacts to political and economic news from all across the world. For instance, an announcement on taxes in the UK, can have an impact on the Pound (GBP) vs other currencies, for instance Dollars (USD).

What is a forex trading app?

On the surface, it’s simply a mobile trading platform (an app) to trade the forex markets, but behind the scenes there’s sophisticated technology that handles the buying and selling for you – all automated, and all instantly.

Typically the forex trading platform has been built by the forex broker (the company who buys and sells for you), we’ll cover those more below. And, the forex trading app is simply an extension of the trading platform – so you can switch between the website and app whenever you like!

Sometimes, you can use 3rd party software as the trading platform, this allows you to connect to the forex broker, who will then make trades for you. The most popular trading platform software is MetaTrader 4 (MT4). You can’t do this with every broker, IG¹ is one of the most popular for integrating with MetaTrader 4, but IG’s own mobile trading app is awesome anyway.

However, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to simply start with the trading app the broker provides. They’re normally great, and you don’t need additional software. To learn more, here’s the best forex trading platforms.

What’s a forex broker?

A forex broker is the company that handles your trades for you, so it buys and sells the currencies you want to buy and sell. It handles the foreign exchange market side of things.

There’s brokers in all types of industries and life in general, and they buy and sell things for you – they ‘broker’ the deal for you. For instance, you can have mortgage brokers, or insurance brokers, or even things such as shipping. There’s a lot out there.

In finance, you’ll need a broker to handle your trades for you – and as technology has improved, the brokers have built forex trading platforms and mobile forex trading apps to make the experience better, and automate everything, making it much faster, and all round better for you.

What is a currency pair?

When you trade forex, you’ll trade currency pairs. These are where you trade (swap) one currency for another – as simple as that. For instance, if you want to swap GBP (Pounds) to USD (US Dollars), that’s the currency pair, and it’s shown as GBP/USD.

The currency pair has a price, for instance $1.2, and this shows the exchange rate, so you’ll pay $1.2 to receive £1.

Currency pair

Major currency pairs

There’s a lot of currency pairs out there, as there’s a lot of currencies in the world (180). However, most forex trading is based on 7 currency pairs, called ‘majors’, which are:

Currency pair Countries
GBP/USD Great Britain / United States
EUR/USD Eurozone / United States
AUD/USD Australia / United States
NZD/USD New Zealand / United States
USD/JPY United States / Japan
USD/CHF United States / Switzerland
USD/CAD United States / Canada

They’re all based on the US Dollar (USD) – it’s the most traded currency in the world, and acts as the base currency for lots of countries and industries across the world.

Crosses (cross-currency pairs)

After the majors, we have crosses, and these are high volume currency pairs that don’t include the USD. These are called crosses as a collective, or a cross-currency pair.

These currency pairs feature the British Pound (GBP), Euro (EUR) and the Japanese Yen (JPY). And they’re traded with other currencies across the world, for instance trading the British Pound with Australian Dollars is GBP/AUD.

Exotics (exotic currency pairs)

There’s also exotic currency pairs, which are currencies from emerging markets (developing countries). These are countries such as Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, India, and lot’s more!

These are traded against a major currency, for instance USD (Dollars).

There’s less people trading exotics currency pairs, and therefore there is less liquidity. This means you’ll typically pay a higher fee per trade (we’ll cover fees below).

What are Contract For Differences (CFDs)?

On lots of trading apps, you can either trade forex directly (currency trading), or you can trade forex pairs using CFDs. Trading CFD is very popular, and CFDs cover almost every asset class out there (for instance stocks and shares), not just the foreign exchange markets.

CFDs stand for ‘Contract For Differences’, and they make trading a lot easier, and offer some great benefits for advanced traders.

Instead of buying the asset directly (e.g. the currency), you’ll instead trade the price of the currency pair (or any other asset, e.g. a stock).

You’ll enter into an agreement (a contract) with the broker about the price of the asset in the future, and agree to settle the difference in price when you sell (close the trade). Which is how you get the name Contract For Differences. Make sense?

Contract For Differences (CFDs)

As you’re not buying the actual asset, they normally have much lower fees, and other great benefits such as trading both price directions, (e.g. the price going down too), and you can trade with borrowed money (called margin trading or leverage trading).

Trading both price directions

With CFDs, you can trade predicting the price will go up (called going ‘long’), or trade predicting the price will go down (called going ‘short’). You often can’t do this if you were just buying the asset itself. This opens a whole new world of trading opportunities for you, and lots more potential for success! 

Margin trading

As you are trading with a broker, they’ll normally let you trade with borrowed money when you trade CFDs. This means that you can trade with much more than your actual balance – giving you the potential to earn more, but with higher risk.

Let’s look at an example…

Imagine you have a £50 trading balance. You want to trade the price of a currency going up, and you want to use 5x leverage (also shown as 5:1). You’ll now be able to use £250 for the trade, and your £50 becomes the security (or collateral) for the trade.

If the currency increases by 10%, you’ll have made £25 (10% of £250), rather than 10% of £50 (£5) – a lot more cash, in fact, its 50% of your actual capital (£50).

Leverage trade - Up

If the price goes down however, you’ll lose 10% of £250 (£25) instead. Losing half of your initial capital.

Leverage trade - Down

Leverage amplifies your wins and your losses – so please be careful, and use a sensible trading strategy.

Foreign exchange trading fees

Trading foreign exchange is often low cost, although this depends on which forex trading app you’re using and which currency pairs you are trading (the majors are often lower cost).

The great thing about forex trading apps and trading platforms is that there’s often not the fees a traditional investment platform might have. For instance, there’s no annual account fee, no dealing fees or typically any other fees. The only fee you’ll typically pay is a spread fee…

A spread fee is a small markup a forex broker will put on the price when you buy or sell. So, it’s the difference between the actual price of the asset (currency) at that moment in time, and the price quoted to you by the broker.

Spread fee

Depending on what asset you are trading, there can be represented as ‘points’ or ‘pips’ – although with fx trading it’s almost always pips.

A point is the smallest digit on the left hand of a decimal point in a number. For instance, if the asset cost £100.00, then 1 point would be £1.

With pips, they’re the smallest number on the right side of a decimal in a number. So, if the price was 1.1935, a pip would be 0.0001.

It can be confusing, so don’t worry too much about it – the forex broker will show you all the costs every time you make a trade (a great benefit of online trading). It can also fluctuate over time when more or less people are trading a certain currency.

The best forex brokers we recommend above are all some of the cheapest out there. As a reminder, they’re IG¹, XTB¹and eToro¹.

Note: you will most likely have to pay a currency-conversion fee if you are trading outside of your local currency.

Can you trade within an ISA or pension?

Unfortunately, you can’t trade forex within a Stocks and Shares ISA, or a pension (self-invested personal pension (SIPP)). These great investment accounts are more suited to long-term investing, where you’ll buy the actual asset, rather than trade CFDs.

If you’re not quite sure what these accounts are, a Stocks & Shares ISA is where you can save and invest completely tax-free. This means you won’t pay any Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax or Dividend Tax on any of your investments.

Stocks and Shares ISA

You can invest up to £20,000 per tax year (April 6th to April 5th the following year). However, you can only pay into one Stocks and Shares ISA per year – so pick wisely! Check out the best investment platforms if you’re looking to invest within an ISA.

A personal pension is also tax-free (as your money grows), and you also get a 25% bonus on everything you add in, automatically added by the government. They’re perfect for saving for your future and retirement.

Personal pension

There’s a bit more to pensions, which we won’t go into here, but check out the best pension providers to learn more and find the best one for you (if you’re looking to save within a pension).

Is forex trading safe and legal?

It’s completely legal to trade forex in the UK, and most countries in the world. It’s super popular too.

It’s also safe to trade forex too, in the UK, forex brokers need to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). These are the people who make sure the people holding your money are acting in your best interests and keeping your money safe.

Forex brokers are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

If you’re not sure if the forex app you want to use is authorised by the FCA, check the FCA register.

Being authorised by the FCA also means your money is normally protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This is where you are protected by up to £85,000 should anything happen to the forex broker, such as going out of business. This only normally applies to your deposits, rather than your trading profits.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Note: FSCS protection only applies to ‘retail’ investor accounts, not professional traders.

In addition, most brokers, and financial firms holding your money, keep your money with a large, separate bank, in your name, and it can only be returned to you.

All of the forex trading apps we recommend above are authorised by the FCA, and have safeguards in place to protect your money.

Let’s recap

There we have the best forex trading apps. Was that more straightforward than you thought? We hope it’s made trading forex a bit easier to understand – it’s a complicated topic and market to master.

Forex trading can be very lucrative if done successfully, however it’s very hard to achieve, and not for everyone. If you’re new to forex trading, you’ll definitely want to learn as much as you can – we recommend starting with eToro¹, as they’ve got some great educational resources, and you can learn from experienced traders, and even copy their trades. It’s also easy to use and get started.

As a recap, here’s the top forex trading apps:

  • IG
  • XTB
  • eToro

Thanks for reading, and all the best trading forex!

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Additional information

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Rating

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Additional information

Arrow down – Blue

Rating

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New to forex trading?

We recommend starting with eToro – it’s super easy to use and get started.
Visit eToro¹Visit eToro¹

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

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This article has been fact checked

This article was written by the team at Nuts About Money, and fact-checked by 2 independent reviewers. You’re in safe hands.

New to forex trading?

We recommend starting with eToro – it’s super easy to use and get started.

Visit eToro¹Visit eToro¹

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

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